Thursday, 2 January 2020

2019 Reading Recommendations

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year.

For something different, we're starting the year with some reading recommendations from the CWD Admin team

From Mazzy Adams 

1. I finished reading the final instalment of Jeanette O'Hagan's Under the Mountain Series of novellas  - Caverns of the Deep -  in 2019.

What a perfect way to round off her terrific set of YA fantasy adventures. Each novella was a lovely, bite-sized chunk of readerly goodness which left me hungry for more. Although fantasy is not my automatic go-to genre, Jenny's lively and creative approach is wonderful. She makes it easy to connect with the three main protagonists, and I was totally caught up in their exciting adventures.

 At the Toowoomba Omega Writers Retreat bookstall in June, I treated myself to two new books: Catriona McKeown's YA novel, The Boy in the Hoodie, and Paula Vince's New Adult novel, Imogen's Chance

2. Imogen's Chance took me gently into the characters' lives when they were at their most vulnerable, wrapped me up in compassion for their problems, and frustration at their responses, added heady moments of suspense that kept me reading much later into the night than I'd planned, and left me soaking in the hope-filled practicalities of God's grace, forgiveness, and unlimited, unconditional love. 

3. The Boy in the Hoodie proved to be a fabulous read. I'd thoroughly recommend it for YA, but heck, if you're older (like me) go for it! It'll take you into the world of teens at school, fraught relationships, self-discovery, the value of true friendship, and a renewed appreciation not only for our young friends and their trials and discoveries, but thankful for the embedded wisdom that unfolds through Catriona's writing. Loved it.

From Sue Jeffrey aka Susan J Bruce

1. ‘A Better Man’ by Louise Penny. One of my favourite authors is Louise Penny. Every year she writes another in her now long series of Chief Inspector Gamache mystery books. It’s a regular, secular mystery but the main character Armand Gamache, is a good man who loves his wife, poetry, the people he works with, his community and his dog. He also is willing to do what’s right even at great personal cost. A Better Man is another beautiful and uplifting book in the series. I’m not sure how murder can be uplifting but these books are  :D. You want to know these people and have them as your friends :). Five star brilliance.

2. Out of the Cages by Penny Jaye, is an excellent YA book about Nepali girls trafficked into slavery. Jaye handles the dark issues sensitively, not shirking the reality of the terrible life trafficked children face but drawing the reader through the struggles of the main character, Meena, as she tries to escape from the world in which she is enslaved. In her author note, Jaye says the book is ‘a kind of prayer that one day we might live in a world that no longer accepts any form of slavery as common place’. I found myself joining in that prayer as this surprisingly beautiful book stirred deep emotions of both anger and hope. This book won the YA section of the 2019 Caleb prize.

From Jeanette O'Hagan

1. Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan. A novelised retelling of the love story between Joy Davidman and C. S. (Jack) Lewis with glimpses of Jack's life and writing at the Kilns as well as a empathetic and honest presentation of Joy, a writer, poet, thinker and soul-mate, and an exploration of Joy's spiritual life.

2. A New Reality - Jewel of the Stars by Adam David Collings. The second episode of the Jewel of the Stars series. Fleeing alien-controlled Earth space, the crew and passengers of the Jewel of the Stars must adjust to an new reality while a group called the Red Guard threaten the peace and safety of the ship. A great second episode with the introduction of new characters.

3. Too Bright by Charis Joy Jackson. A collection of short stories inspired by the author's dreams. A mix of gripping, emotionally intense dystopian stories and more fairytale stories full of wonder and faith.

From Paula Vince

Check out Paula Vince's reading blog The Vince Review for a whole heap of other suggestions :)

Now over to you - what books have you read in 2019 that you'd recommend to others?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recommendations Mazzy & Sue. Love your book blog, Paula, even though I don't often get time to read it.